December 22, 2022
Today, the U.S. Senate passed the FY 2023 Omnibus Appropriations package, which contains the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act. The package will head to the U.S. House of Representatives, where it is expected to pass without issue. The Overdose Prevention Initiative at the Global Health Advocacy Incubator applauds the Senate vote on this important end-of-year bill and celebrates the long-awaited passage of the MAT Act.
Since the initial introduction of the MAT Act in 2019, advocates have tirelessly pushed for the bill’s passage, and today, years of effort have come to fruition. The MAT Act expands access to buprenorphine, an FDA-approved medication that is effective in preventing opioid overdose deaths.
“The MAT Act will save lives by removing unnecessary barriers to effective treatment for opioid use disorder,” said Libby Jones, Project Director of the Overdose Prevention Initiative at the Global Health Advocacy Incubator. “Three years after it was initially introduced, we’re ecstatic to see this bill passed. To end the overdose crisis, we need to ensure that effective, evidence-based treatment is available to all who need it.”
The MAT Act would not have passed without diligent advocacy from elected officials, including the bill’s originating cosponsors — Congressmen Paul Tonko and Mike Turner, and Senators Maggie Hassan and Lisa Murkowski — as well as support from Congressional leadership and the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
This year, the United States has lost more than 100,000 people to drug overdose — an unfathomable loss. Each person who died from an overdose this year leaves behind family members, friends, and communities. Comprehensive support for substance use disorder is within reach. That vision can be made real by federal policies that address the disparities, inequities, and stigma in the substance use disorder treatment system. The MAT Act is the first step in improving access to evidence-based treatment through legislation and policy, and the Overdose Prevention Initiative will continue working to improve access to treatment in the 118th Congress.
The Overdose Prevention Initiative is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and is a partnership between the Global Health Advocacy Incubator and the Tobacco Free Kids Action Fund.
For questions, please contact Ben Orton-Vipond at firstname.lastname@example.org.